The Los Angeles Lakers officially reached out to the San Antonio Spurs to express interest in Kawhi Leonard, according to a report.
The San Antonio Spurs enter Thursday’s 2018 NBA Draft with questions on about half of their roster, but none bigger than Kawhi Leonard, who reportedly wants out after seven years. The draft usually features a flurry of player movement, so the Spurs can move him in a few hours, but there’s no indication from any reports that it will happen imminently.
However, teams have shown interest in Leonard, including the Cleveland Cavaliers. They did not become the last one, either, as the Los Angeles Lakers reached out to San Antonio to express their desire in acquiring Leonard, according to Yahoo’s Shams Charania.
No surprise here. The Lakers apparently sit atop Leonard’s wishlist for teams he wants to go to, and the Southern California ties only add to this potential outcome.
It takes two to tango, and the Spurs seem to have no desire to negotiate with the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. Given the “they basically shut the door on us” line from her source, it does not make a deal sound possible.
Within the last week the Lakers contacted the Spurs to discuss a Kawhi Leonard trade. As one source put it, “they basically shut the door on us.”
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 21, 2018
If not the Lakers, will Leonard go to the Eastern Conference? The Boston Celtics stand out as a possibility, given their assets that built up from the 2013 Brooklyn Nets trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett away. Draft decisions by Danny Ainge, Boston’s general manager, also put this organization in a good spot.
There’s the aforementioned Cavaliers. Outside of the No. 8 pick, however, they only have expensive contracts to offer.
The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly have no reservations on moving assets, if this report from The Athletic’s Michael Scotto holds true. Markelle Fultz, the No. 10 and No. 26 picks are rumored to be part of an offer to move up and select Michael Porter Jr. in Thursday’s draft. If that fails to come to fruition, will the Sixers throw these pieces into a package for Leonard?
Maybe another team comes out of the woodwork to negotiate with San Antonio. Whatever the case may be, this story is far from over.